DURHAM, N.C. –
After getting to the front of the rim only to see a layup attempt that would've cut
's lead to one with nine seconds left in overtime come up empty,
's Erick Green heard it from the fans.
Duke's students pointed at him and chanted: "You let the whole team down, you let the whole team down."
The students were off the mark in their assessment of Green's play. He couldn't get that layup to fall, and another misfire late in regulation will go down as botched opportunities, but he was one of the primary reasons Tech was able to hang around for as long as it did in Saturday.
Still, it wasn't enough to pull off the upset, as Tech lost 70-65 in overtime to No. 5 Duke.
"I've been telling (the media) for three weeks I think we're getting better," said Tech coach
, whose team lost its seventh
game by five points or less. "Obviously, you want that reward, but that doesn't mean we aren't getting better."
Despite shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor, Duke (25-4 overall, 12-2 ACC) held off the upset bid. Freshman
led Duke with 23 points, including 14 in the second half and overtime.
Tech (15-14, 4-10) shot 40.5 percent from the floor, including 50 percent in the second half, but just 33 percent in overtime. It also made only 7 of its 16 free throw attempts.
With the game tied 58-58 in the closing seconds of regulation, Tech had the final possession. Green worked his way around Tyler Thornton off the dribble, but Green's 15-foot jumper with five seconds left bounced off the back of the rim. Cadarian Raines, who had a career-high 16 points, missed a tip-in with two seconds left and the game went to overtime.
"I wanted to go one-on-one (with Thornton)," said Green, who scored 16 points – all after halftime. "I hit him with the first move and had him going back. I should've pulled up on the first move instead of waiting on the second move. He didn't bite (on the second move). I went to pull up and kind of thought I got hit on the arm, but I'm not going to make any excuse. I missed it."
In overtime, Tech never led, but Dorenzo Hudson kept the game from getting out of reach. Duke built a 63-58 lead before Hudson, who also had 16 points and played the final nine minutes and 59 seconds of regulation and all of overtime with four fouls, made a 3-pointer with 2:02 left to cut the deficit to two.
Hudson made another jumper from nearly the same spot 43 seconds later, but officials ruled his shot a two-pointer instead of a 3-pointer and Tech trailed 64-63. Other than a layup by Green with four seconds left that cut Duke's lead to three, Tech wouldn't score again.
With Tech trailing 65-63, Hudson air-balled a short jumper with 34 seconds left, and Green missed his layup with nine seconds left. Duke, which also beat Tech 75-60 on Feb. 2 in Blacksburg, converted six of its last eight free throws in the final 50 seconds.
Tech never led by more than three points, but it managed to keep Duke from pulling away. Duke had a 10-1 run in the first half that Tech answered with a 10-3 scoring binge of its own. In the second half, a 9-0 run gave Duke a 46-40 advantage with 9:12 left, but Tech immediately responded with a 9-2 run to regain the lead.
"(Tech was) fresh and unbelievably well-coached," said Duke coach
, whose team won at
less than 38 hours before the tip of Saturday's game. "They have been in like eight one-possession games. I think they only won two…Green is as good of a guard as there is in our league."
Neither team held more than a three-point lead in the final six minutes and 42 seconds of regulation, but Tech had a chance to win it down the stretch.
With Tech leading 58-57, Green made a significant blunder when he picked up his dribble and traveled 40 feet from the basket with 40 seconds left. Rivers was fouled with 32 seconds left and made 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game, setting up Tech's final fruitless trip up the floor in regulation.